FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 1, 2015
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
LOUDOUN COUNTY ADULT DETENTION CENTER INMATE CONVICTED OF PERJURY
JURY FIXES SENTENCE AT TEN YEARS
LEESBURG, Virginia – June 30, 2015. A Loudoun County jury found Michael Joseph Anderson, 33, guilty of perjury. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Travis Owens presented the case on behalf of the Commonwealth. After deliberating for less than thirty minutes the jury returned a guilty verdict. The single day trial concluded with the twelve person jury fixing Anderson’s sentence at ten years, the maximum penalty for perjury.
On November 20, 2014, Anderson appeared before a Loudoun County Magistrate to file a complaint against a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy, alleging while under oath that he was assaulted by the Deputy in the Adult Detention Center. Upon review of Adult Detention Center surveillance video, and interviews with the Deputy and other Detention Center inmates, it was determined that no assault had occurred and that Anderson had fabricated his testimony to the Magistrate. The Magistrate subsequently issued a felony warrant charging Anderson with perjury.
"Although rare and often difficult to prove, prosecutions for perjury do occur in the most egregious cases," said Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman. "Here, we had a repeat criminal deliberately attempt to damage the career of a Deputy by falsifying testimony to a judicial officer. Fortunately, the truth was borne out through independent witnesses and surveillance footage, which is likely the reason why the jury gave him the maximum prison sentence available under the statute," continued Plowman.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, Owens’ presented evidence of Anderson’s prior criminal record dating back to 1997 which included multiple convictions for assault, felony drug offenses, a firearm offense, and misdemeanor destruction of property and obstruction of justice.
Anderson’s case is currently set for October 19, 2015 in Circuit Court where a final sentencing hearing will be held before the Hon. Burke F. McCahill who presided over the trial. Under Virginia law, a judge may suspend any amount of a jury sentence, except for any portion that is a statutory “mandatory minimum,” by providing written reasons therefore. A jury sentence may not be increased by a judge.